Watts Up...?
Mar 29, 2016 at 6:33 PM Post #31 of 4,623
Speaking personally - my current favourite is the AQ Nighthawks.

Now they are not to every ones taste - a lot of guys at Chord find them way too dark and smooth - but I like them because I can play for 12 hours and am still hungry for more music. By comparison, to me, other HP sound distorted. Moreover, they sound like loudspeakers in terms of tonal balance, and I mostly listen to loudspeakers.

Do they have faults - yes, they could be more transparent, and the bass is maybe softer than I would like - but they do so many things right.

I have been very impressed with Mr. Speakers Ether too - and have a pair of Ether C (HP is mostly in aircraft for me) coming.

Rob



Yep, Robs recommendation was the main reason why I purchased my Nighthawks and currently have it paired with Mojo. :D
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 2:50 AM Post #32 of 4,623
Rob, can I ask your thoughts on the distortions in digital audio itself - I think you touched on it before when you mentioned the idea of brain burn-in i.e. that the brain has to accommodate to the new types of distortions that have been introduced as a result of digital audio?

It seems to me that the introduction of digital audio have allowed new distortions to be created due to the fact that mathematical processing can be inaccurate in so many new ways that introduce new distortions which were never encountered before in the natural world of vibrating bodies

The sampling and recreating the original analogue signal without timing errors has been an extremely interesting problem for me over the last 3 years - mostly in the appreciation that extremely small timing errors can have a profound effect subjectively. What we are doing with ADC then back to DAC can be summarised:
 
Analogue continuous signal > Sampled data (ADC)> analogue continuous signal (DAC)
 
What I (and the rest of the engineering community) have failed to appreciate is how sensitive we are to very small errors in the reconstruction process. Mathematically its simple - we simply need an infinite tap length FIR filter with a sinc impulse response that also infinitely over-samples at the same time, then we will perfectly recover the original analogue signal in the ADC.
 
In practice, I do not know (for certain) how many taps are needed, and how much oversampling is needed - that said, I have made a lot of progress in this area, but I do not know how much further we can take it. It's one of the very interesting things I hope to learn from the Davina ADC project when I will be able to go from 768k, down to 48k, back up to analogue, and then appreciate how much losses we really get, and how to minimise them.
 
Very interesting times ahead!
 
Rob
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 3:54 AM Post #33 of 4,623
Hi Rob,
Very interesting stuff, thanks.

A topic I am keen to hear an expert explore is that of digital filters.

What are the pros and cons of the different filter types? Can pre-ringing effect the brains ability to process? Does post ringing sound more natural? What was your decidion making process in going with a linear phase filter (correct me if I'm wrong on that) with the popular Chord products you developed?

In addition, while not really a topic for discussion I did have a question as well -

Does Chord have any plans, or would you like to see them, evolve the Mojo project into a digital audio player?

The number of photos I see with high end DAPS having their expensive circuitry bypassed into a Mojo via digital output boggles my mind. It seems to me that you have the hard work done with a miniature yet highly regarded DAC and amp circuit in the Mojo. Why not capitalise on the growing market for high end DAPS and make a mojo player?
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 4:18 AM Post #34 of 4,623
  I suppose you realize that there's scads of Mojo action here on Head-fi, I think that Bird named guy in Japan says the Mojo is "his" product of the Year ( which year, I don't know, yet ). 

 
2015, but I don't give out titles like that. I'm sure plenty of people still think it's a massive conspiracy though. I need to make my "good enough" video, which is long overdue. Not sure I can keep a straight face though. 
 
 ps. no 2.   Lots of Aussies are following y'all, does anyone know why they "talk" with a strange accent?  

 
Supposedly because we were originally English convicts. I gotta say, y'all speak pretty funny over there y'selves. 
tongue.gif
 
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 5:09 AM Post #35 of 4,623
 
I suppose you realize that there's scads of Mojo action here on Head-fi, I think that Bird named guy in Japan says the Mojo is "his" product of the Year ( which year, I don't know, yet ). 


2015, but I don't give out titles like that. I'm sure plenty of people still think it's a massive conspiracy though. I need to make my "good enough" video, which is long overdue. Not sure I can keep a straight face though. 

 ps. no 2.   Lots of Aussies are following y'all, does anyone know why they "talk" with a strange accent?  


Supposedly because we were originally English convicts. I gotta say, y'all speak pretty funny over there y'selves. :p  

So is that prison English & not pidgin English or just jailhouse jive ? :p
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 5:15 AM Post #37 of 4,623
Rob, can I ask your thoughts on the distortions in digital audio itself - I think you touched on it before when you mentioned the idea of brain burn-in i.e. that the brain has to accommodate to the new types of distortions that have been introduced as a result of digital audio?


It seems to me that the introduction of digital audio have allowed new distortions to be created due to the fact that mathematical processing can be inaccurate in so many new ways that introduce new distortions which were never encountered before in the natural world of vibrating bodies

The sampling and recreating the original analogue signal without timing errors has been an extremely interesting problem for me over the last 3 years - mostly in the appreciation that extremely small timing errors can have a profound effect subjectively. What we are doing with ADC then back to DAC can be summarised:

Analogue continuous signal > Sampled data (ADC)> analogue continuous signal (DAC)

What I (and the rest of the engineering community) have failed to appreciate is how sensitive we are to very small errors in the reconstruction process. Mathematically its simple - we simply need an infinite tap length FIR filter with a sinc impulse response that also infinitely over-samples at the same time, then we will perfectly recover the original analogue signal in the ADC.

In practice, I do not know (for certain) how many taps are needed, and how much oversampling is needed - that said, I have made a lot of progress in this area, but I do not know how much further we can take it. It's one of the very interesting things I hope to learn from the Davina ADC project when I will be able to go from 768k, down to 48k, back up to analogue, and then appreciate how much losses we really get, and how to minimise them.

Very interesting times ahead!

Rob

Looking at DA/AD loopback tests on Gearslutz, the very best show something around -79dB correlation depth.
If Diffmaker is to be believed this is really an abysmal figure & even if we weren't very sensitive to very small errors in the reconstruction process - this doesn't signify that the errors are small
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 7:44 AM Post #39 of 4,623
 
That would be any DAP with digital out connected to the Hugo and you're unlikely to find it in this thread
wink.gif

 
The problem with that is that:
 
a. DAPs with digital out tend to be high end endeavors in themselves, with expensive circuitry you have to pay for in order to by-pass it entirely and use it with the Hugo or Mojo
 
b. Most people, most Head-fiers even based on discussions at meets, do not want huge clunky portable rigs made out of multiple devices to turn on, with different battery cycles, weighing down their jacket pocket.
 
People want a single device that delivers high end sound, that's why this new generation of DAPs has been so popular. 
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 7:53 AM Post #40 of 4,623
I'm still in search of a dap that sound as good as the hugo.

That would be any DAP with digital out connected to the Hugo and you're unlikely to find it in this thread :wink:

The problem with that is that:

a. DAPs with digital out tend to be high end endeavors in themselves, with expensive circuitry you have to pay for in order to by-pass it entirely and use it with the Hugo or Mojo

b. Most people, most Head-fiers even based on discussions at meets, do not want huge clunky portable rigs made out of multiple devices to turn on, with different battery cycles, weighing down their jacket pocket.

People want a single device that delivers high end sound, that's why this new generation of DAPs has been so popular. 


The problem with asking the question in Rob's blog thread is that he likely will say no DAP with off the shelf DAC chips or op-amps will sound as good as his gear. There's a reason he left regular DACs long ago to make his own. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but based off his posts on Head Fi I'd say you're barking up the wrong tree.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 7:57 AM Post #41 of 4,623
The problem with asking the question in Rob's blog thread is that he likely will say no DAP with off the shelf DAC chips or op-amps will sound as good as his gear. There's a reason he left regular DACs long ago to make his own. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but based off his posts on Head Fi I'd say you're barking up the wrong tree.

 
That's not really what I'm getting at.
 
I'm following on from a question I asked above - as to whether or not Chord might consider making a DAP version of the Mojo that, like other high end DAPs, retained its functionality as a standalone DAC/Amp.
 
I think it would be a popular product, and would solve this problem.
 
If they don't, I might still get a Mojo, and solve the expense issue (but not the bulk/battery cycle one) by just getting a cheap android phone with an SD card slot to use as a digital source and download a good FLAC playing ap.
 
It's more sensible than buying a high end player only to bypass everything you are paying for, but it's not the ideal solution. That would be a Mojo DAP.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 8:05 AM Post #42 of 4,623
That's not really what I'm getting at.

I'm following on from a question I asked above - as to whether or not Chord might consider making a DAP version of the Mojo, that like other high end DAPs, retained its functionality as a standalone DAC/Amp.

I think it would be a popular product, and would solve this problem.

If they don't, I might still get a Mojo, and solve the expense issue (but not the bulk/battery cycle one) by just getting a cheap android phone with an SD card slot to use as a digital source and download a good FLAC playing ap.

It's more sensible than buying a high end player only to bypass everything you are paying for, but it's not the ideal solution. That would be a Mojo DAP.


I was more focusing on the ”DAP as good as Hugo" question in my response.

FYI, John Franks has said in an interview that the Mojo is getting an SD card accessory with a small screen so it could be 'an all in one' device (no concrete confirmation beyond that for 'an all in one' solution)*. Also FYI, FiiO is considering making a transport, but not guaranteed.

* link to John's interview with the info on the accessories, starting at 27:45.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DTWcKLI0g7c
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 8:16 AM Post #43 of 4,623
Re Rob's comment re Mysicality I could not agree more, comparing my Hugo with my Krell CD player directly in many areas I would say that they sound similar when I do active listening and cannot pinpoint direct winner in A/B comparison, however when I walk away to an adjacent room I hum along to the music when the Hugo is on but not the Krell, it is even more clear difference at lower sound levels. So strange but this makes it clear without a doubt what I prefer, so I guess it is the musicality I then hear when not actively trying to perceive differences in sound...
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 8:22 AM Post #44 of 4,623
I like Rob's last comment in his listening post:

”Listen to your Lizard brain".

Good advice Rob.
 
Mar 30, 2016 at 9:33 AM Post #45 of 4,623
A DAP is a whole, huge different kind of device. It depends if Rob was interested in taking the time to program a whole system on a FPGA that could read music files from SD cards and have a UI with which to interact.
 

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